Unboxed: Garmin Forerunner 745

We unbox the Garmin Forerunner 745 — the latest music-storing watch that's a lightweight, mapless version of the deluxe Forerunner 945, for $100 less.

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It’s been four years since Garmin offered an update to their well-loved Forerunner 700 series—the Forerunner 735XT. Triathletes are huge fans of this watch because it’s (relatively) affordable, has all multisport functions—along with some deep data features—and it isn’t packed with lots of gizmos and software that people rarely use anyway. This new update to the series basically brings the Garmin Forerunner 745 up in line with the 900 series and the 600 series in terms of onboard music and some extra coaching functions, but leaves out the maps from the Forerunner 945 along with some widgets and a little battery life. The 745 ticks all of the swim (pool and open water), bike (pedaling dynamics and power), and run (GPS and track) functions that triathletes need—along with multisport/triathlon/swimrun. There’s nothing super drastic going on here, but that’s probably ok—no reason to mess with a good thing.

First Impressions

Garmin Forerunner 745: $500; Garmin.com

What I Like About The Garmin Forerunner 745

  1. This is an achingly small/light watch—a great fit for thin-wristed triathletes who still want a ton of functions.
  2. Onboard music storage (only 3-4GB though) via Garmin Connect and Spotify (and Deezer)
  3. The fact that Garmin says this supports both Stryd running power pods (expected) AND FORM open-water heads-up display (a surprise)

What Makes Me Worried About The Garmin Forerunner 745

  1. $500 still ain’t cheap—it’s dangerously close to the Forerunner 945 that has maps, more battery, and a few other software/hardware goodies.

Final Thoughts

  1. I had really hoped that this watch would come in under $500 to really slay this category.
  2. A lack of monster changes just shows how “full” smartwatches are getting—what else could you even fit in here? Aside from maps, of course.
  3. This is a watch without a ton of surprises, but has precisely the features 95% of triathletes want and need.

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